CMA CGM, the world’s fourth largest container shipping line by market share, has announced it will begin calling at the Port Tampa Bay from May 2019, as it looks to connect the US state of Florida to critical Asian markets.
In a statement, the carrier said Port Tampa Bay will join its Pacific Express 3 (PEX3) service, which stretches from Singapore to the US east coast via the Panama Canal, and calls at Hong Kong, Shanghai and Houston among others.
Port Tampa Bay is the closest port to Florida’s fastest growing region and its largest consumer market – the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor.
It is also home to the largest concentration of distribution centres in Florida which, along with its location on the I-4 Corridor means importers and exporters can achieve significant savings in truck delivery costs.
It goes on to say that, together with terminal operator partner Ports America, Port Tampa Bay is continuing to expand and upgrade its facilities to meet growing customer demands and technological trends.
Part of that is a plan to quadruple capacity over the next few years, an ambition it has recently acquired two new post-Panamax cranes in order to meet.
Nick Fafoutis, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at CMA CGM America, had this to say: “The PEX3 offers an outstanding service to and from Asia, and now shippers in Central Florida will have enhanced access to it.
“With this new call to Port Tampa Bay, the CMA CGM Group is pleased to provide an invaluable routing option between critical Asian markets and a growing population base in Central Florida and the greater Southeast region.
“With the recent addition of Vung Tau on PEX3, the Tampa call will also be the first ever direct connection between the booming Vietnam market and Central Florida. These changes to PEX3 exemplify the customer-centric strategy that has propelled the CMA CGM Group to be the number 1 carrier in the U.S.”
Mark Montgomery, President and CEO, Ports America, also commented: “Ports America is proud to partner with the Port in welcoming CMA CGM.
“Together with the Port, we’re moving forward with expansion of the terminal, as well as adding cranes and equipment so we can continue to accommodate this growing market.”